Ironstone Farm began a five-year capital campaign in 2013 to bring its programs, reach and facilities to yet another level.
The campaign’s first event was a house party at the home of Doug and Diana Berthiaume, who set a challenge: raise $500,000 in three years, in individual donations of $5,000 or more and they would match it. Ironstone completed the challenge in eight months.
Since then Ironstone has launched a new spring fundraiser, the Ironstone Derby 5K & Kentucky Derby Party on the day of the Kentucky Derby.
It has purchased land necessary to allow for future stability.
It has opened its long-desired Arts & Education Center for children and young adults with special needs and their families.
Finally, it has launched a brick campaign, to help complete its goals.
FOUR MAIN GOALS
The main goals of the capital campaign are listed below, along with what goals have been met so far.
Equine therapy program goal: To improve and expand programs at the heart of what we do.
Key to this is renovating our 4,000 sq. ft. therapy building and its back room so that riders with physical disability can receive consistent, properly heated therapeutic intervention year-round, families can watch in comfort, standardized testing can be conducted with reliable results and progress can be documented for publication and professional sharing. Additional work at the farm would provide for better gathering areas for equine encounter discussions by groups of veterans, cancer survivors and others.
Full-Circle programming goal: To complete our Arts & Education Center and bring skills learned through the therapy of the horse to “real-life” experience.
The center further achieves our mission through development of after-school programs in the arts for children with disabilities, life-skills programs for older individuals with disabilities who are in transition, and educational opportunities for the families of our constituency.
A kitchen will be used for teaching cooking, nutrition, and functional skills of daily living for 17- to 22-year-olds who are transitioning to their life after their school years. A goal for these students is to gain independence in preparation for living in a new environment.
SUCCESS STORY: In June of 2014, Challenge Unlimited at Ironstone Farm received a prestigious Cummings Foundation $100K for 100 grant to help with this effort. Click here to read more.
SUCCESS STORY: In 2015, the new Arts & Education Center opened for its first programs. New director Timothy Blackburn has been hired and is working with local collaborative programs to use the center as a place for youth with special needs to learn life skills and enjoy social interaction, while also connectings with Ironstone’s horses and farm.
Outreach and education goal: To qualify, improve and share the benefit of our services through research and education. To create a model that can be replicated elsewhere in this country and in others.
SUCCESS STORY: Ironstone Farm has begun partnering with university professors and students to find new approaches and offer the information as part of professional development opportunities.
Facility expansion goal: Ironstone sought to buy an abutting home, enabling growth, ensuring herd and facility security, and providing housing to maintain quality farm personnel.
SUCCESS STORY: Ironstone has purchased the home between the existing farmhouse and the new Arts & Education Center, completing the campus and ensuring a stable future.